Rescued From Distribution Hell
June 15, 2020
Bear McCreary-scored ANIMAL CRACKERS Coming to Netflix in July
– Randall D. Larson
There is cause for celebration in Rootin’ Tootin’ Animal Circus town. In an article by Bill Desowitz posted today at Indiewire reports that the “animated indie about magical animal crackers finally gets a streaming release date, three years after its Annecy premiere.” The film has been acquired by Netflix and will return to the 2020 Annecy online festival, June 15-30. Netflix will stream ANIMAL CRACKERS starting July 24 in nearly 200 countries.
“Directed by Tony Bancroft (MULAN) and Scott Christian Sava (the character designer and owner of Blue Dream Studios), ANIMAL CRACKERS sends a magical box of cookies to rescue a rundown circus,” wrote Desowitz. “The CG animation conjures a Disney retro vibe, and boasts voice work by John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Danny DeVito, and Ian McKellen. Meanwhile, Carter Goodrich (DESPICABLE ME) provided the warmly appealing character design work.”
The film’s enthusiastic response at the 2017 Annecy festival, a very positive review in Variety, a theatrical release in China in 2018 and scattered 2019 releases in Europe and Australasia, gave it excellent prospects for a successful distribution… but, as co-director Sava put it in an article about the film’s resurrection in today’s Variety, “The studio we signed on with, who shall not be named, went bankrupt and we moved over to another studio. Within six months that company went bankrupt too, so we signed on with a third studio Dec 2017, and that company held onto the film for 14 months before they pretty much went under and we got the rights back.”
The film is composer Bear McCreary’s first animated feature, which McCreary, posting in a 2018 tweet, regarded as “the most insane score I’ve ever written! This movie is absolutely delightful!” In a pair of Facebook posts today, sharing the news of the film’s Netflix acquisition, Bear wrote, “I’m so relieved that this film escaped those lower infernal depths and emerged to finally get distribution, on an ideal platform. I can’t wait for the world to experience this zany adventure!”
Sony Classical was all set to release the score album until things ground to a halt, so expect their release of Bear’s score to be announced once Netflix’s streaming of the film begins. (See the tracklist for the planned album at soundtrack.net here.
Read the full story on the rise, fall into distribution hell, and rescue of ANIMAL CRACKERS in this article at Variety.
Watch the film’s original 2017 trailer: